“Half-baked lockdowns” the cause for rising food prices, Guan Eng says

AS many quarters hurl brickbats against the Government for soaring food prices, DAP joined the foray and blamed it on “half-baked” lockdowns imposed by the previous administration.

“The failed total lockdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in RM42 bil of losses to the construction sector and is not helped by rising labour and material cost.

“Plus, the declining strength of the ringgit at RM4.24 to US$1 dollar does not help to mitigate the negative effects of imported inflation,” said its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

Recently, the public bemoaned rising prices of vegetables across Malaysia, with even lawmakers chipping in to comment on the situation.

“Ridiculous! Some have even gone up two-fold! In addition to relying on @kpdnhep (the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry) for price control, we must look at the core issue for the constant increasing price,” Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman tweeted.

“The Government should start taking food security issues seriously.”

Prices of certain vegetables – cauliflower prices, for example, had shot up more than 100% – from RM7 to RM16 per kg while Chinese cabbage (choy sum), a Malaysian staple, has increased from RM3 to RM9 per kg in the past two weeks.

Touching on the matter, Lim also cast aspersions on Putrajaya’s official inflation rate, adding it did not really reflect on what is happening on the ground.

What say you, Putrajaya?

The former finance minister added the increase in inflation rate of 2.9% in October as compared to 2.2% in September did not reflect the soaring prices in daily necessities such as eggs, chickens and vegetables, on top of rising construction costs involving both material and labour as well as higher airline ticket prices to Sarawak.

“Basic necessities like chicken have risen to the highest levels in memory, much higher than when Pakatan Harapan was running the Government,” he stated.

Lim also criticised Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi who blamed higher operational costs in the supply chain for the situation.

“He had assured Malaysians that soaring prices of daily necessities would be resolved by Dec 9.

“If that doesn’t happen, then Putrajaya should bear full responsibility for the troubling situation,” the Bagan MP remarked. – Nov 27, 2021.

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